Mon, September 01, 2008
Sports > Tennis & Golf

U.S. Open: Ivanovic loses, Nadal cruises

2008-09-01 07:08:30 GMT2008-09-01 15:08:30 (Beijing Time) Shanghai Daily

Ana Ivanovic of Serbia returns the ball during her second round match against Julie Coin of France at the US Open tennis tournament Aug. 28, 2008 in Flushing Meadows, NY. The top-seeded Ivanovic was ousted from the U.S. Open, stunned by 188th-ranked Julie Coin 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in the second round Thursday. (Xinhua Photo)

Ana Ivanovic of Serbia reacts during her second round match against Julie Coin of France at the US Open tennis tournament Aug. 28, 2008 in Flushing Meadows, NY. (Xinhua Photo)

Coin of France reacts during her second round match against Ana Ivanovic of Serbia at the US Open tennis tournament Aug. 28, 2008 in Flushing Meadows, NY. She won 2-1. (Xinhua Photo)

Rafael Nadal of Spain returns a shot to Ryler DeHeart of the US during their match at the U.S. Open tennis tournament at Flushing Meadows in New York, Aug. 28, 2008. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

BEIJING, Aug. 30 -- Top-ranked Ana Ivanovic suffered one of the biggest upsets in tennis history when she was stunned by 188th-ranked Julie Coin of France 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in the second round of the US Open on Thursday in New York.

Never before in the Open era that began in 1968 had the No. 1 woman lost this early in the tournament.

Coin screamed when Ivanovic's last shot sailed out, then hopped for joy and hit an extra ball high into Arthur Ashe Stadium. Ivanovic quickly gathered her gear and left the court, her hopes of another Grand Slam championship dashed.

"Obviously, if you would ask me at the moment if I'm playing like a No. 1, probably not," Ivanovic said. "It's very frustrating because I know I can play so much better."

Even after Ivanovic struggled in the first round while coming back from an injured thumb, there was no way to see this coming.

Coin spent much of the year playing in minor events and nearly got knocked out of Open qualifying. The 25-year-old Frenchwoman recently played so poorly she thought about giving up the sport and relying on her mathematics degree.

"I was thinking, 'Am I really made to play tennis?"' she said.

Still, Coin couldn't have figured on it. Asked whether she'd thought such a win was possible, she gave a direct, honest answer.

"No," she said.

And when did she believe it might happen?

"I guess when it was over," she told the crowd, drawing a huge ovation.

In the third round, Coin faces countrywoman Amelie Mauresmo, who beat Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 2-6, 6-4, 6-0. Coin and Mauresmo once played at the same club near Paris and shared the same coach, though they don't know each other well.

Top-seeded Rafael Nadal avoided a similar fate on the men's side, beating American qualifier Ryler De Heart 6-1, 6-2, 6-4.

Nadal joined Venus and Serena Williams, James Blake, David Ferrer, Andy Murray and Dinara Safina in the third round. No. 14 Ivo Karlovic posted the stat of the day while beating Florent Serra of France in straight sets - he finished ahead in aces 42-0.

Fourth-seeded Serena Williams routed Elena Vesnina of Russia 6-1, 6-1 and seventh-seeded Venus Williams overwhelmed Rossana de Los Rios of Paraguay 6-0, 6-3.

Venus breezed past an opponent ranked 117th. After teaming with her sister to win Olympic gold in doubles, she stayed on course to play Serena in the quarterfinals here.

Williams is the last woman to win consecutive championships at the US Open, but hasn't taken the title since 2001.

"Oh yes, I remember. I won't forget, but I'd like to have a more recent memory as of, like, '08," she said. "Kind of overdue."

Among the other winners were No. 9 Agnieszka Radwanska, No. 17 Alize Cornet, No. 18 Dominika Cibulkova and No. 19 Nadia Petrova. But No. 20 Nicole Vaidisova lost to Severine Bremond of France 7-5, 6-3.

The No. 6-seeded Safina, not nearly as volatile as brother Marat Safin, played under control in beating Roberta Vinci of Italy 6-4, 6-3.

On the men's side, fourth-seeded Ferrer beat Andreas Beck of Germany 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (5) and Argentine teenager Juan Martin del Potro notched his 21st straight win, beating Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil 4-6, 6-1, 7-5, 6-3.

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